President Biden Delivers Cancer Moonshot Address

President Biden Delivers Cancer Moonshot Address

Alex Chizzik, Staff Writer

Let’s time travel back to 60 years ago when President John F. Kennedy delivered his empowering and motivational Moonshot Address. On September 12, 1962, Kennedy explained that “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we’re willing to accept. One we are unwilling to postpone.” This speech not only set the precedent for our country’s future remarkable advancements, invention, and innovation, but also gave American citizens the motivation to do bigger and greater things. Although President Kennedy was not alive when we landed on the moon, his Moonshot Address lives on in all of us, inspiring us to do the impossible.

One person who embodies JFK’s message today is President Joe Biden, who recently created Cancer Moonshot, aiming to prevent the force that is cancer. Cancer is unlike anything else. It is a disease that simply affects all Americans; cancer does not discriminate between race, ethnicity, financial status, gender, and sexuality. This year, the American Cancer Society estimated a total of 1.9 million new cancer cases and 609,360 cancer deaths in the United States. Cancer is one of the most prevalent public health issues in our country and was the second leading cause of death, only behind COVID-19 in 2020. Along with President Biden, most American families have a member who has been diagnosed with cancer. This reality is quite frightening, and our administration is doing its best to ensure a brighter future for our nation. Not so long ago, the world thought traveling to space and landing on the moon was simply impossible. With modern-day technology and science, look how far we have come and how far we can go. 

The Cancer Moonshot was first funded through the 21st Century Cures Act, which was passed under Barack Obama’s presidency in 2016. This act was primarily based on a strong foundation of scientific research. The Cancer Moonshot has previously focused on areas of cancer research that are most likely to help patients, bringing together patients, researchers, and supporters who are devoted to curing the disease. Now enters the new phase of Cancer Moonshot, in which Americans’ role in this fight is emphasized. We can get back to screenings that are overdue because of the pandemic, actively participate in research, and support these causes. So much progress has been made since 2016, and now with recent discoveries and technology, we can do so much more.

In his speech, Biden announced that Dr. Renee Wegrzyn would be the Director of ARPA-H (Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health), a new program testing biomedical revolution that will benefit all Americans. In addition, the president signed an executive order instating a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative which will guarantee new biotechnology. Lastly, the Cancer Cabinet is making progress towards providing new technology designed to detect cancers and benefit researchers across the country. Hopefully in time, our country will see many improvements in our cancer statistics and be much closer to curing cancer.